Cognitive Developmental Milestones for Second Grade

Teacher Helping Young Students with Assignment
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In second grade you can expect your child to start some serious learning. Your child is able to attend to things for a longer period of time and is beginning to develop a number of more sophisticated cognitive skills that are important for the second grade curriculum

Cognitive Skills Important for 2nd Grade

Skill: Begins to have some understanding of money, both literally and conceptually.
Why It's Important: For many children, counting money is a difficult concept, frequently because the value of coins doesn't seem to match their size. In second grade, your child will begin to learn about denominations of money and how they can be combined to make different amounts.

He will also learn about commerce and the value of money as a negotiable instrument. You can help your child hone this skill either by working out a system of payment for extra chores or by giving him a small allowance with which he can learn to budget.

Skill: The ability to think is affected by emotions and worries.
Why It's Important: This skill is more like an "anti-skill" of sorts. At this age, your child has difficulty focusing on both emotions and thinking skills at the same time. If your child is worrying about something or there are changes that may be causing her stress, it's a good idea to communicate with her teacher. That way the teacher can be aware that a decrease in attention or slipping grades isn't necessarily tied to your child's understanding of subject matter.

Skill: Able to tell the time and have a sense of how long time increments are.
Why It's Important: In the age of digital clocks and cell phones, some children are lacking this skill or are slow to develop the ability to read a clock and keep track of time. However, it's an important milestone for following the classroom routine, knowing how long until the next activity or class or simply being able to estimate how many minutes or hours a project will take.

Skill: Has overcome left-right ambiguity. That is, knows which side is left and which side is right without having to think about it.
Why It's Important:  Truth be told some people (myself included) never fully develop this skill and have to think very hard in able to tell left from right. Although these people usually do just fine, it can cause some difficulty with map skills and other directional activities. For some students, not being able to tell left from right can also cause problems with handwriting and sports skills, since they're not easily able to verbally identify their dominant hand.

Skill: Has a greater capacity to do mental math, as well as to work with abstract and larger (3-digit) numbers.
Why It's Important: The benefits of this skill are fairly obvious. As second graders begin to work with larger numbers and learn multiplication and regrouping, being able to do mental math and quickly access answers becomes a necessity. Setting up and solving word problems often rely on this skill, as do high-stakes tests for which scratch paper is not allowed.